Project

Biochemistry Mixed Reality Lab Simulation

Biochemistry experiments in university labs can be dangerous if an observer (student or lab practitioner) is not well-prepared and following experiment procedures strictly. Often, students might not have chances to practice lab procedures outside of limited scheduled class time. For example, busy lab timings, unavailability of chemicals, or limited supervising hours can all get in the way of student’s learning. These problems can be overcome by biochemistry mixed reality lab simulation. The overarching project is multidisciplinary that involves multiple faculties and group of students. We are introducing an educational software to supplement the typical wet lab teaching sessions, or to aid distance education. Students can practice experiments in a safe environment and get ready for real wet lab sessions. They will use the HTC VIVE Pro headset to see the VR environment. They can interact and manipulate physical biochemistry experiment tools which are motion-tracked using OptiTrack and Vive Tracker. The physical tools are represented in the virtual world together with purely virtual elements, like notebook or calculator, to complete the experience. The experiment procedures and feedbacks will be programmed in to provide prompt feedback. This fully immersive hands-on interactive education tool will be making it possible for students to practice potentially dangerous experiments on their own and be ready for real wet lab sessions in an interesting way by giving them real time feedbacks in this way the need to have lab assistant is eliminated. Their performance data can be stored for the instructors to evaluate their learning outcomes. As my master thesis work, I mainly worked on automated calibration of the room. The project setup will not be always at a dedicated location or environment the automated calibration will help people use this system in different locations. I worked on automated detection of passively tracked tools which is helpful in accurately detecting the tools those are tracked using OptiTrack. I also worked converting a 2D calculator to a 3D VR compatible calculator which is required during the experiments for calculations. Next thing I worked on is Submission Book which is required for the notebook submission of the results by the observer in order to receive appropriate feedbacks. Lastly, I developed macros for chemistry lesson plan excel sheet which was required for the data validation.

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